"Boy meets boy, girl meets girl" -- and whatever else cishets do -- has been the norm in pop music, but TAYLOR ALXNDR is turning all of those scripts on their head with their new gender-transcending track, "Romeo." In the lead single from their forthcoming sophomore album, the Atlanta-based superstar-in-the-making serves an 80s-inspired pop bop all about a "guy who can't open up or be vulnerable, largely because they have fallen prey to toxic manhood that's deemed vulnerability as 'not manly'" in their words.
A performer of all trades, TAYLOR ALXNDR wrote and produced "Romeo" and built the set, directed and styled the visual treatment on their own. But that's no surprise, as they've become a bit of an underground legend in the last few years, touring all over the Southern U.S. with the likes of King Princess, Charli XCX, and Junglepussy. And they are quick to note that with "Romeo," she had the support of Matt Addington, who served as the director of photography for the project.
We got a chance to get a glimpse into the inspiration behind TAYLOR ALXNDR's new track and why Valentine's Day is oh-so special for them.
What was the inspiration for this song? Was there a particular person you had in mind?
"Romeo" was written out of frustration with the guys who flirt with you, but are never open, or vulnerable, or honest. I think it's partly due to toxic masculinity teaching that any kind of vulnerability is feminine and not manly. There were a few main inspirations behind "Romeo" actually. I think they've all grown up and developed. But there are still plenty of Romeos out there!
Who are the glorious folks cast in the video?
My two friends in the music video are my two drag sisters, Molly Rimswell & Dotte Com. I've been performing with them for years, and instantly thought of them when I was casting the video. The "Romeo" in the video is TJ Maxxx, an up-and-coming drag king who I've worked with a lot over the past year. I knew I needed someone who exudes really big "fuckboy" energy, and he rose to the occasion. The prom scene is made up of my friends, drag family, and my two partners.
What was it like being on set for the music video?
This was my first music video where I built the entire set and shot it in a proper studio, so it was a really new experience. The energy was great! We shot it in 15 hours. I had my partners, my best friends, and my drag family all involved, so it was a very intimate, but fun time!
What's been your most memorable Valentine's Day (or date) so far?
My birthday is actually the day before Valentine's Day, so I tend to party it up and do everything before it actually gets here. Last year, I got to perform with Crystal Waters and Robin S. at a major league basketball game in full drag. Then, I hosted a packed drag show right after. That was probably the most memorable birthday-Valentine's Day week ever!
What advice do you have for all those who have fallen for someone like the guy in "Romeo?"
Don't waste your energy on someone who doesn't spend energy on you! Work on yourself and someone truly deserving of your energy and time will come into the picture. You can't make someone open up, or be more vulnerable. That kind of growth has to be real and honest!
ALXNDR's sophomore album is set to drop in August, following up their debut, Hologram. We'll be waiting with open arms and hearts! Check out "Romeo" on Spotify.
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